Improving Security & Optimizing Costs in Azure

Almost without exception, organizations that come to 10th Magnitude for Managed Services have two overriding needs:

  • Improve the overall governance of their Azure estate, especially security. We call this Security Operations.
  • Get a rope around spending. Often, they are just trying to figure out where the money is going and why. We call this Cost Optimization.

This is not surprising. Effective Security Operations and Cost Optimization are significantly advanced skills. It takes a lot of experience to build a security implementation that provides high confidence. The same is true of optimizing costs.

Building Security Operations and Cost Optimization require an experienced hand that has worked with organizations of all sizes, across multiple industries, using varied cloud technologies. One that brings those experiences and outcomes to bear on your requirements and has helped the victims of bad actors and bad oversight come back from those incidents stronger, smarter, and safer.

We have seen the need from our customer base for readily implemented, easily understood, and highly effective security and cost optimization solutions. From our expertise, we have created approaches that serve the needs and budgets of startups and enterprises alike, and here is how we approach these challenges.

Azure Security Operations

Most organizations rely on Azure Security Center as their front-line defense for security monitoring and auditing. And for good reason: It is a solid tool. The free version provides robust monitoring, alerting, and even remediation plans. The paid version can shut down many attacks on Infrastructure as a Service before they even begin.

Other organizations go a step further and purchase Sentinel, Azure’s world-class SIEM solution which is powered by cloud AI and the operational data of thousands upon thousands of Azure customers. Its ability to monitor and alert on undesirable states is limited only by your ability to define what you want to monitor.

The challenge in both cases comes down to two factors:

  • Alerting: What is signal and what is noise? What are the urgent risks?
  • Action: How do we respond to the signal? Who is our knight in shining armor when a crisis is imminent?

The answers to these questions are the core of Security Operations. You cannot be secure if you cannot monitor your resources effectively.

What is an effective monitoring solution? Of course, it is ensuring you can capture anomalies before they become a crisis. It is certainly making sure you do not suffer data loss or direct infiltration.

Effective Security Operations also means not overwhelming your team with inconsequential data. It is employing modern solutions to address ever-changing threats. It is applying a broad set of experience and tools to the common problems, so your team can focus on the uncommon.

And that is the other side of modern Security Operations: When that significant security threat is young and manageable, who takes ownership? Do you have the right people with the right skills and the right plans to address the attacks that get past your front-line defenses?

Having a plan, putting the right team in charge of that plan, and ensuring you can fully support them in that moment of crisis is the outcome you need from Security Operations. Our Managed Services team works as an extension of yours to support security operations and enhance your security posture with around-the-clock help from our Azure security experts.

Azure Cost Optimization

The damage and losses of a security incident can be ruinous. In a moment, your world-class enterprise can be reduced to a groveling slave of a ransomware attack.

But chances are your operations are already a slave to an even more insidious threat: The slow bloat and creep of your cloud spend, voraciously consuming budget for no appreciable improvement in your operations.

Even exceptionally well-governed enterprises, with strong change control, approval processes, and configuration management databases, struggle with keeping their operations lean.

The basis of a solid cost optimization strategy is also twofold:

  • Accountability: Who owns the things we put in the cloud and are they financially accountable for those things?
  • Efficiency: Are the things we deploy properly scaled to the jobs they are doing, and are we making them smaller when they can be smaller?

Answering these accountability questions is all about organization. The enterprise must have the means to know what assets belong to which team, to know the spend of those assets, and to have a chargeback-lookback model that holds the owner financially responsible for those assets.

Getting there is a lot easier said than done. We work with many clients that operate exceptionally well-governed cloud estates, but struggle with the fundamental question of, “Where does all the money go?”

For them, the need is certainly getting the right tools. But it is also implementing the right processes and controls to make sure nothing is deployed that is not planned, and nothing is planned that is not accounted for.

Then there is the question of efficiency. One of the great benefits of the cloud is the ease with which one service tier of a resource can be exchanged for a different tier. Another benefit is allowing an organization to create more, or fewer, of a type of resource depending on demand.

Having the ability to detect where inefficiency lies — and the tooling in place to remediate that inefficiency — requires both solid backing data and flexibility within the organization to scale resources appropriately.

Bringing in a partner such as 10th Magnitude, which has extensive experience across verticals, organizations, and requirements, is often the wisest choice. We’re SOC II Type II certified, an Azure Expert MSP, and our award-winning team of Azure pros is here to help. Get started today with an Azure Health Check or contact us to learn more about how you can better secure your environment and optimize spending in Azure.

By |2020-10-15T16:38:16+00:00October 14th, 2020|